A Remote Prefab in Uruguay Is Completely Self-Sufficient
With nary a neighbor in sight, the Retreat in Finca Aguy occupies an enviable plot among the low eastern mountains in Pueblo Eden. MAPA Architects designed the modern home for a well-traveled family who wanted a minimal retreat that embraced the unique Uruguayan landscape. In keeping with the clients’ desire for a low-impact home, the abode was constructed in a Montevideo factory 200 kilometers away and equipped with off-grid technologies including solar panels and an on-site waste treatment system.
The 700-square-meter home was constructed with a prefabricated steel-frame system and sheathed in low-maintenance sheet metal. Factory construction took four months, and the project’s cost was approximately $250,000.
Trucked to the site in two parts, the home was set atop two locally crafted stone walls built on-site. Multiple site visits were made to determine the optimal site placement that prioritized views and solar orientation.
"Its abstract shape contrasts with the sinuous landscapes in which it is located," explains MAPA Architects. "We like the notion of an intentional contrast between nature and artifice."
"How to work in the best possible way within remote landscapes is a question that always guides us," says MAPA Architects. "We believe that Retreat in Finca Aguy is one of the possible answers, which combines landscape and industry in a manner they both benefit from each other."
In contrast to the exterior, the interior is lined in timber. Garapa wood covers the floor, while Canadian pinewood lines the walls and ceiling.
An open-plan living, dining, and kitchen space is placed at the heart of the home and flanked by two matching en-suite bedrooms. A sheltered balcony terrace spans the width of the building and juts out over one of the supporting stone walls.
The prefabricated home, which can be removed with minimal impact if needed, operates completely off the grid.